NDMA directs provincial authorities to enact measures to mitigate impact of predicted rise in temperatures
The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) on Tuesday issued a forecast of “mainly hot and dry” weather in most parts of the country this week, marking the first heatwave warning of this year.
“Sindh, southern Punjab, eastern and southern Balochistan will remain in the grip of very hot and dry weather from Tuesday to Saturday,” warned a press release issued by the PMD. “Temperatures are also likely to rise in most sub mountainous areas of the country,” it added.
According to the meteorological department, dust storms are expected in Sindh and Balochistan, and the daytime temperatures in most plain areas are expected to remain 4-6°C above the normal baseline.
Reacting to the warning, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) directed all provincial disaster management authorities and local administrations to enact preventative measures to mitigate the impact of the expected heatwave. According to a notification, all relevant authorities have been instructed to establish heatstroke stabilization and relief centers at government and private hospitals, basic, and rural health units, and any other government buildings and community centers that are suitable for the purpose.
Additionally, the NDMA has urged local authorities to improve coordination with emergency services and other relevant departments, as well as launching awareness campaign to apprise the public to take care to prevent heatstroke. “A helpline should be set up to assist the affected people on priority. General public, especially heatstroke victims, should be provided water and necessary emergency medicines. People, especially farmers, should be warned about possible dust storms during harvesting and threshing,” it added.
Authorities, it said, should ensure water conservation, an uninterrupted power supply through standby generators at heatstroke centers/hospitals, and emergency services, including ambulances with trained paramedics, round-the-clock to cater to the public’s needs.
The PDMAs have also been told to inform the NDMA about any assistance required to establish heatstroke centers, or launch awareness campaigns.